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ERIC Number: ED510155
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 159
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Crucial Issues in California Education 2006: Rekindling Reform
Hass, Bob, Ed.
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ1)
Educators and policymakers have accomplished much over the past decade, aided by parents and taxpayers. California has set a high bar for what all children are expected to learn, from kindergarten forward. Instructional materials and tests are now closely aligned, so that teachers know how to gauge their students' progress. And achievement growth within thousands of elementary schools has been strong since these accountability tools were forged in 1999. Yet this is no time to be complacent. Earlier gains in test scores are leveling off in some grades. Achievement gaps between children from poor and middle-class families have failed to narrow. California students continue to learn at slower rates than students in other states, like New York or Texas, where family demographics are similar. California has constructed a high-standards education system, with high-stakes testing for students, but with a finance system that fails to match standards and accountability demands. California can rekindle school reform by building from recent success and squarely facing new challenges. This volume concludes by suggesting four policy shifts: (1) Reorient school accountability and finance to raise the achievement of low-performing students; (2) Pursue a coherent strategy for boosting the performance of English learners; (3) Make school finance simple, transparent, and adequate for a high-standards public school system; and (4) Focus the state's role on tracking district and school performance, then deregulate authority over resources down to the school level. The analyses contained in this volume support two key messages. First, a school reform agenda that fails to close achievement gaps is simply not working. Second, the current policy approach is long on rules and short on resources, an order that's unlikely to motivate long-term gains inside schools. This volume contains ten chapters: (1) Rules and Resources: The Evolving Context for School Reform (Haleh Hatami); (2) Funding California's Schools, Part I: Past, Present, and Future? (Lawrence O. Picus); (3) Funding California's Schools, Part II: Resource Adequacy and Efficiency (Jay G. Chambers and Jesse D. Levin); (4) California's Accountability System (Catherine Bitter and Jennifer O'Day); (5) Evaluating State Intervention: The High Priority Schools Grant Program (Thomas Timar); (6) Achievement and Attainment: The Comprehensive High School and the Problem of Reform (Leslie Santee Siskin); (7) Crucial Issues in Preparing Teachers of English Learners (Julie Maxwell-Jolly and Patricia Gandara); (8) Addressing the Needs of Low-Income Students (Elisabeth Woody and Melissa Henne); (9) Expanding and Improving Preschool (Margaret Bridges); and (10) Rekindling Reform (Bruce Fuller). Individual chapters contain tables, figures, endnotes and references.
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - General
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Noyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California